Gene 2018 03 29() pii S0378-1119(18)30346-9
Diabetic nephropathy is the single strongest predictor of mortality in patients with diabetes. The development of overt nephropathy involves important inter-individual variations, even after adjusting for potential confounding influences of modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors. Genome-wide transcriptome studies have reported the activation of inflammatory signaling pathways and there is mounting indication of the role of genetic factors.
We screened nine genetic variations in three cytokine genes (TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-β) in 1326 unrelated subjects comprising of healthy controls (n = 464), type 2 diabetics with nephropathy (DN, n = 448) and type 2 diabetes without nephropathy (T2D, n = 414) by sequence-specific amplification. Functional implication of SNPs was elucidated by correlation studies and relative gene expression using Realtime-Quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR).
Individual SNP analysis showed highest association of IL-1β rs16944-TT genotype (OR = 3.51, 95%CI = 2.36-5.21, P = 0.001) and TNF-α rs1800629-AA genotype (OR = 2.75, 95% CI = 1.64-4.59, P = 0.001) with T2D and DN respectively. The haplotype frequency showed significant risk of seven combinations among T2D and four combinations among DN subjects. The highest risk of T2D and DN was associated with GGTGAGTTT (OR = 4.25, 95%CI = 3.3-14.20, P = 0.0016) and GACGACCTT (OR = 21.3, 95%CI = 15.1-28.33, P = 0.026) haplotypes respectively. Relative expression by RT-qPCR showed increased cytokine expression in cases as compared to controls. TNF-α expression was increased by more than four-folds (n-fold = 4.43 ± 1.11) in DN. TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β transcript levels were significantly modulated by promoter region SNPs.
The present study implicates a strong association between cytokine TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β gene promoter polymorphisms and modulation of transcript levels with susceptibility to nephropathy in diabetes subjects.